What’s on the Menu – They’re Not Just For Dipping

I don’t know why but it seems like every casual dining restaurant has the same six appetizers. Doesn’t matter if you are at an Applebee’s, Bennigans, or TGIFriday’s, the “starters” portion of the menu usually contains wings, mozzarella sticks, chips & salsa and one particular item that contains today’s menu spotlight. I highly doubt they know that the artichoke dip they sell contains one of the most powerful cancer fighting foods on the planet.

Even though artichoke’s presence on casual dining menus is most likely a happy accident, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the nutritional benefits of this vegetable. One medium size artichoke (about 120g) contains nearly 25% of our recommended daily allowance (RDA) for fiber. It is also contains a significant amount of folate and vitamin K which are especially important to expectant mothers (source). All these nutrients are great, but the purpose of this blog is to highlight the cancer fighting properties of artichokes.

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One of the reasons why cancer cells propagate is due to oxidation which is caused by a build up of free radicals in our body. In order to reduce the negative effects of oxidation, our body produces antioxidants and we acquire them from the food & drinks we consume. Artichokes just happen to contain some of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet. Cynarin, rutin and the other antioxidants from artichokes have been shown to reduce the cell growth of certain forms of cancer in clinical studies (source). You should put THAT fun fact on your menu Cheddar’s!

I doubt that if you combine artichokes with cheese and mayo like those restaurant appetizers do that you’ll get the same health benefits as just grilling them. Shannon and I have used them recently to make a delicious Tuscan Chicken Skillet meal, that I contend wouldn’t be the same without the artichokes. Send us your go to artichoke recipes and don’t forget to include pictures. You can always reach us on social media or send us an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

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